At the last MRC Pontiac council of mayors meeting of this term on October 6, council passed a resolution requesting that the provincial authority that oversees firefighter training in the province, L’École nationale des pompiers (ENP), translate two training modules into English.
Though the majority of the school’s programs are available in both languages, two new courses have not yet been translated. One deals with work-related psychological impacts, and the other is on the rules around firefighters using the green emergency light in personal vehicles. As of July 1, 2021, the psychological impacts course is a mandatory part of Firefighter 1 training, the roughly 200 hour group of courses that all new firefighters must take to become certified.
The resolution passed by the council was sent to the ENP directly, as well as Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault, Pontiac MNA André Fortin and other MRCs throughout the province.
However, CHIP 101.9 spoke with the ENP’s Director General Jacques Proteau, who said in a French-language interview that the lack of translation was due to budget issues but was only temporary. He stressed that they offer English materials and instruction for all their other courses. He estimated the cost of making the two courses available in English to be approximately $150,000.
Proteau said that they had prioritized the translation of the psychological impacts course since it is mandatory, and expected that it would be available in English early next year. He said they would address the translation of the emergency light course in the budget for the next fiscal year.
MRC Pontiac Fire and Public Safety Coordinator Julien Gagnon said that there was currently one class in the Pontiac ready to complete their Firefighter 1 who only needed the psychological impacts course to graduate. He said that he would be attempting to translate the materials on the fly for the time being, but was relieved that it would soon be offered in English.
“I’m hoping that by the time we start a new group in the New Year, that that course will be translated before they’re done,” he said.